07.11.1944 Transport Command Boston III BZ549 F/O Maitland. Location: Reykjavik Airfield, Iceland.
Mission: Ferry delivery flight to the U.K.

Date: 7th November 1944. (Tuesday)

Time: 15.00 hrs.

Unit: Transport Command.

Type: Douglas Boston III. (A-20)

Serial: BZ549

Coded: None carried.

Base: B.W.1 Greenland

Location: Reykjavik Airfield, Iceland.

Pilot: F/O. Peter Ronald Maitland J/36240 R.C.A.F. Age ? Injured.

Nav: Fl/Lt. Kenneth David Clarson 405831 R.A.A.F. Age 24. Killed. (1)


Extract from Court of Inquiry into accident:

Statement of pilot:

I am Flying Officer Peter Ronald Maitland, R.C.A.F. J/36240, employed as a pilot with R.A.F.T.C.

On November seventh 1944, I flew Boston BZ549 from B.W.1. Greenland to Reykjavik, Iceland, on a delivery flight to the U.K.

Two days previously I had taken off from B.W.1. and the pilots hatch had blown off and damaged the mid-upper gun turret, I landed immediately and temporary repairs were carried out to enable me to complete my flight.

On November seventh I took-off from B.W.1. at approximately 11.00 hrs. for Reykjavik Iceland, I arrived at Reykjavik at about 15.00 hrs. and called the Tower for landing instructions. Tower told me to stand by in the circuit and something about giving me a runway as much out of the sun as possible. Reception on R/T was very poor.

I was finally given clearance to land on runway 02, using the left hand side.

I proceeded to carry out a normal approach and landing, and made the final approach at a speed of 145 M.P.H. The landing was satisfactory and the touch-down was actually closer to the lee end of the runway that I normally do, Just after touch-down and while running with all wheels on the ground, I noticed that I was crabbing or skidding slightly to starboard, which was heading me towards the unserviceable side of the runway. I started to apply both brakes and straightened the aircraft out.

Part brake was kept applied until I was approximately two-thirds the way down the runway when I realised that I was travelling too fast for my position on the runway and it was too late to go around again. I then applied full brakes and held the control column right back to ease the pressure on the nose wheel. The brakes were working alright because I could feel them when the wheels came off the icy spots on the runway. Braking action was poor and we were still travelling at a fair rate of speed when the end of the runway was reached.

We ran off the end of the runway onto soft ground where the nose wheel oleo leg collapsed and the aircraft came to a sudden stop with the nose buried in the ground. The main wheels did not retract, but were later retracted by breaking the safety lock and making an "up" selection, and then rocking the aircraft to collapse the undercarriage.

Tragically Kenneth Clarson was at his Navigators position in the nose of the aircraft when it crashed, and was killed on impact.


Douglas Boston BZ403 from the same production batch seen here in England.

boston-iii-a-20-bz549-transport-command-kenneth-in-his002c-61st-queensland-cameron-highlanders-uniform-2 zoom

Before joining the R.A.A.F., Kenneth spent two years in the 61st Queensland Cameron Highlanders.

This studio photo of him in his dress uniform, his unit badge on the right. Like many young Australians, Kenneth was keen to serve his countries call to action, and travel overseas. Honours and Awards: 1939 - 1945 Star. Atlantic Star. War medal. Australia Service Medal 1939-45.


The SS Monterey arriving at Auckland, New Zealand, passing the SS Lurline in dock.

Kenneth, together with other enlisted men of the RAAF, boarded the SS Monterey in Sydney on November 13th, 1941. The Monterey was a South Pacific cruise ship, the men travelled as ordinary passengers, calling into port at Auckland, Fiji, Samoa, Hawaii and San Francisco, where they disembarked and travelled onto Vancouver, Canada, then by rail to their training camps.


Kenneth's funeral cortège arriving at Fossvogur Cemetery, Reykjavik.


Pallbearers prepare to remove the coffin.


The last salute.

Fl/Lt Kenneth David Clarson grave at Reykjavik

Burial Details:

Fl/Lt Kenneth David Clarson. Reykjavik (Fossvogur) Cemetery. Grave Reference: C49. 1 Son of Kenneth and Mary Elizabeth Clarson, of Sandgate, Queensland, Australia, husband of Therese Clarson, of St. Eustache sur le Lac, Province of Quebec, Canada.

His brother, Alexander Clarson also served during WW2 for further details "LINK"

Page research and constructed by David King. This Tribute, along with numerous other pages of remembrance, has been kindly sponsored by way of a donation, from Susan Clarson-Griffin and Jane Dean Kenneth's nieces.

The society would like to thank them for their support, along with the use of their impressive collection of photos and documentation, which we are most honoured to reproduce here, made available for all to share in memory of their uncle. (David King Chairman Aircrew Remembrance Society.)

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